Nixon Peabody elevates public finance attorneys

Bonds

On Tuesday, global law firm Nixon Peabody LLP released the names of newly minted partners and counsels who have arrived at the next level in their public finance career. 

According to the firm, “Nearly 80% of the new partners are members of historically underrepresented groups at the partnership level in the legal profession, which aligns with Nixon Peabody’s core values of increasing equity, access, and opportunity in legal profession leadership.” 

“Each of the skilled lawyers in our 2024 partner class exemplifies Nixon Peabody’s purpose, and each is a pillar of exceptional client service,” said Stephen D. Zubiago, Nixon Peabody CEO and managing partner, via a statement. “Collectively, this group is innovative, collaborative, and creative—deeply committed to creating a positive impact in the communities we serve.” 

“I regularly serve as borrower’s counsel, underwriter’s counsel, or bank counsel on financing transactions for hospitals and health systems throughout the country,” said Gretchen Sherwood, partner, Nixon Peabody LLP.  ”I assist clients on ongoing compliance matters, including secondary market disclosure, reporting requirements, navigating events of default and change in use of bond-financed facilities.” 

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The group includes 12 attorneys who moved into the counsel class and 14 that made partner including Gretchen Sherwood, Project Finance & Public Finance, who is based in Chicago and has been with the firm for over nine years. 

Gretchen advises nonprofit borrowers, underwriters, and banks in connection with compliance issues along with tax-exempt and taxable financings and strategy. She also represents healthcare entities and nonprofit organizations.  

“I regularly serve as borrower’s counsel, underwriter’s counsel, or bank counsel on financing transactions for hospitals and health systems throughout the country,” she said. 

“I assist clients on ongoing compliance matters, including secondary market disclosure, reporting requirements, navigating events of default and change in use of bond-financed facilities.” 

Gretchen serves as a member of Nixon Peabody’s Pro Bono Committee and as secretary of the board for the Chicago chapter of Women in Public Finance. She was named as a Bond Buyer “Rising Star” in 2023 and graduated magna cum laude with a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 2014. 

Each of the firm’s three legal departments were represented by attorneys moving up to counsel class. 

“Our new counsel class includes a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives, and the attorneys in this group have blazed their own trails within the firm,” said Stacie B. Collier, Nixon Peabody Chief Talent Officer. ”Our firm’s counsel program continues to provide a solid steppingstone to the partnership ranks.”

“I support school and community college districts with their capital needs to construct, maintain, and improve school facilities for the benefit of students,” said Dia Walrath, counsel, Nixon Peabody LLP. “I regularly assist districts in managing their bond programs, including providing guidance on the election process under Proposition 39 or 46, compliance with continuing disclosure obligations and other statutory and regulatory requirements that impact their debt issuances.” 

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Dia Walrath is assigned to the the Project Finance & Public Finance team in San Francisco.  She serves as bond, disclosure, and underwriter’s counsel on matters related to the issuance of tax-exempt and taxable municipal securities. 

Her client list over the past eight years includes states, cities, counties, school districts, airport authorities, transportation authorities, and nonprofits.  

Her stock in trade includes general obligation bonds, certificates of participation, commercial paper, Mello-Roos financings and lease revenue bonds. Working with educational organizations and school districts are also key areas of interest.

“I support school and community college districts with their capital needs to construct, maintain, and improve school facilities for the benefit of students,” she said. ”I regularly assist districts in managing their bond programs, including providing guidance on the election process under Proposition 39 or 46, compliance with continuing disclosure obligations and other statutory and regulatory requirements that impact their debt issuances.” 

Dia earned her J.D. at the University of California, Davis School of Law, serves as one of the chairs of the firm’s Black Resource Group and is a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. 

“A significant component of my practice will be revolving around municipal issuers in the State of New York, New York City and Puerto Rico,” said Sebastian Torres, counsel, Nixon Peabody LLC. ”My goal is to continue to work on complex financings for infrastructure and industrial projects and further develop my leadership, management, delegation and business development skills while at a more senior role within our firm.” 

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Sebastian Torres will be covering Project Finance & Public Finance in New York City and reporting to Practice Group Leader, Virginia Wong. 

“A significant component of my practice will be revolving around municipal issuers in the State of New York, New York City and Puerto Rico,” he said.  ”My goal is to continue to work on complex financings for infrastructure and industrial projects and further develop my leadership, management, delegation and business development skills while at a more senior role within our firm.” 

His client list includes state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, investment banks, and financial institutions in connection with the financing of infrastructure projects. 

Sebastian was a member of the Nixon Peabody team that advised the Government of Puerto Rico in connection with the largest municipal restructuring in US history. 

Sebastian earned his J.D. at University of Puerto Rico School of Law. He is a member of the New York Bar and the Bar of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. He serves on the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and a board member of Young Professionals in Infrastructure.

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